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November 13, 2014 - Regular Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors was called to order on November 13, 2014, at 7:30 p.m., by Chairman Gerald W. Powers, with all members present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited
A Moment of Silence was observed.
Solicitor Roberts indicated that an Executive Session was held by the Board on October 16, 2014, to discuss potential litigation.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:
John Reibsome, 240 Tower Drive, asked about an article that was in the local Newspaper indicating that disaster funding money was given to the Township, and wanted to know if it was earmarked to repair Tower Drive.  Mr. Mullen read the article and was not aware of the article or the funding.  He will check into this matter for clarification.

Linda Woodward, 249 Grovania Drive, asked about the storage of recreational vehicles in the Village Residential district.  Mr. Powers read a letter dated October 7, 2014 from Mr. Tom Long, owner of the Indian Head Campground.  Mr. Long indicated in his letter that when he was considering purchasing the property across from the township police station, he was told by a previous Zoning Officer that there were no restrictions and he proceeded to purchase the property and clean it up for the purpose of storing his customers RV’s.  Now he is being told by the Township that he cannot use his land for this purpose.  Solicitor Roberts has spoken to Mr. Long and gotten more information  and he suggested that this matter be discussed by the Board at an Executive Session.

Ms. Woodward noted that the Ordinances have been in place since the 1990 Comprehensive Plan was prepared and that the vehicles are not allowed in a Village Residential District.  She noted that regulations are in place for a purpose and that is to maintain a certain type of enjoyment by all people in the Township.   She also commented that Mr. Long has to be commended for cleaning his property and there is potential for other types of development.

Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Officer,  noted that if Mr. Long was given information regarding no restrictions on the property, he was given incorrect information .  Again, it was noted that an Executive Session will be held and the Board will take action as to what they intend to do regarding this matter.

Bob Clark, 514 Valley Road, noted that in today’s Press Enterprise on page 25, there is an article about farms and too many antibiotics in our food.  He feels that this is a good article to read against factory farms and to get antibiotics out of factory farms.

MINUTES:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve the Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting of October 9, 2014, as drafted.  Motion carried.  

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve the Minutes of  the Special Meeting of October 22, 2014.  Motion carried.

BILLS DUE FOR PAYMENT:

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the General  Fund in the amount of $49,437.84.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Special Police Account in the amount of $1,605.25.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Highway Fund in the amount of $2,780.13.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve bills to be paid from the Sewer Fund in the amount of $14,859.76.  Motion carried.

It was noted by Linda Woodward that she has contacted Phil Dunn who has contacted Senator John Gordner on behalf of the Township regarding the FEMA/PEMA money that we are due from the 2011 flood.  She has not yet heard back from Senator Gordner.

A MOTION was made by Ms. Ebright, seconded by Mr. Powers, to approve a bill to be paid from the Debit Card Account for the month of October in the amount of $16.92.  Motion carried.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve bills to be paid from the Fire Tax Account in the amount of $6,333.46.  Motion carried.

NOTE:  Lori Carl is now Lori Ebright

OLD BUSINESS:

PUBLIC SEWER:

STP OPERATOR’S REPORT:

John Bauer, STP Operator, has submitted a written report of activities for the month of October, 2014.   He reported that everything is working well.  There was a problem with a power outage a few weeks ago in October which took out both pumps and starters at the Indianhead Campground.  The pumps have been replaced and two (2) new pumps have been ordered.  The surge protector stayed intact.  It could have been low voltage that burned them up.  The Board authorized John to contact Tom Mertz, our insurance adjuster, to see if this will be covered by the Township insurance.  The cost to replace two (2) pumps is approximately $10,000.00.

KURIAN SEWER HOOK UP:

There was nothing new to report.  We are still waiting for Mr. Kurian to come up with a different proposal.

RAISING OF PUMP STATIONS:

This project has been completed.  There are still two (2) more pumps stations to be raised which will be done during the Summer of 2015.

REMIT CORP. PROPOSAL/TERMINATION WITH ARB:

This matter is on hold.  

EXTENSION OF PERRY AVENUE TO ROUTE 11:

There was nothing new to report.

BUDGET VS. ACTUAL EXPENSES AND REVENUE UPDATE:

Ms. Ebright reviewed the Budget report and indicated that $415,500 was budgeted for taxes for 2014, and $458,243 has been received.  However, expenses have exceeded our income due to the extra expenses related to the pipeline, pig farm and police investigation.  
Ms. Ebright expressed her thanks to Linda Woodward for contacting Senator Gordner regarding our FEMA/PEMA money.  

Mr. Mullen noted that Deussen Drive and Boone Drive were both repaired this year.

UNITED WATER SERVICE – UPDATE:

Mr. Powers noted that he was invited to the dedication of the new Bloomsburg Water Plant.  Discussion was held at that event regarding the extension of the water line from W.W. Evans School to Route 11.  Mr. Powers will meet with the representative to discuss this matter.

FLOOD MITIGATION PROGRAM – UPDATE:

There was no report.

CODE OF ORDINANCES UPDATE:

The update has been included in the 2015 Budget.

LANDLORD REGISTRATION ORDINANCE:

This matter is on hold.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND ZONING MAP:

Linda Woodward reported that some changes have been to the Comprehensive Plan by the Township Planning Commission and it should be finalized and recommendation given at the December Meeting of
the Planning Commission.  After discussion with Larry Sponenberg at their Meeting, the Planning Commission members will take a tour of the Township to look at the various agricultural areas.  Mr. Mullen asked that since the State Attorney General’s office has contacted us,  will that effect any potential new zoning?   The answer was no because we are not stopping them from farming.  Linda Woodward noted that the Comprehensive Plan is tied to Zoning and Zoning is tied to it.  Even though the Comprehensive Plan may be changed, it does not change what the land is being used for.  

HAZARDOUS WASTE PICK-UP AREA:

There was nothing to report on this matter, but Linda Woodward noted that she will look into this after the beginning of January, 2015.

STONE CASTLE ZONING CHANGE:

This matter is on the Township Planning Commission’s Agenda.

OFFICE COMPUTER SYSTEM:

A second quote has been received in the amount of $1,240.00  The first quote was for $1,200.00.  This matter was tabled.

SMALL CELL TOWERS:

There was nothing new on this matter.

ENERGY ORDINANCE:

Solicitor Roberts has drafted an Ordinance Amending Chapter 27 concerning oil and gas activities.  The Township Planning Commission has proposed some changes and Jerry Walls is working with Solicitor Roberts to incorporate some language changes.  Other Townships have shown interest in our Ordinance after it is in place, and the Board should consider offering it to other Townships if they do not have one of their own.  Mr. Powers explained that our Ordinance will not keep the pipeline out, it will give leverage to the Township about the construction, maintenance and safety of the pipeline.

Mr. Powers and Mr. Mullen have met with a sub-contractor who will issue the permits for the pipeline during the middle of next year.  The only road in our Township that will be effected is  Valley Road.

The Township Planning Commission will meet on December 2, 2014, and will make their recommendation on the Ordinance at that time.  Mr. Powers thanked Solicitor Roberts and Jerry Walls for all their work on this Ordinance.

EMERGENCY WATER SOURCE:

Chief Terry Eckart is to check on information on a water buffalo.

TRAFFIC STUDY FOR REDUCING SPEED LIMIT – SUNKEN HEIGHTS:

Solicitor Roberts reported that due to the density of residences in Sunken Heights, a traffic study is not needed to change the speed limit.  An Ordinance is required.

Richard Vanderpool  asked why the Board is addressing something that is going to be a waste of time and money due to one person’s complaint?  It was noted that the residents who requested the change were concerned about the safety of the children at the W.W. Evans School.  Chief Eckart noted that he investigated an accident that was caused by a  high rate of speed and the car hit the ditch and slid across the driveway at the School and stopped one (1) foot from the building.   He does not know that lowering the speed limit is going to be the answer;  he suggested putting up signs since there is no good spot to run speed.  He also suggested parking a marked patrol car or just painting lines.  Mr. Vanderpool agrees that the Board should look at other options rather than lowering the speed limit.  Mr. Powers and Mr. Mullen agree with Chief Eckart  to park the car and  monitor the situation.  

EMA TRAINING & DIRECTOR:

Discussion was held on the appointment of an EMA Director.  Joe Yeager, the present Director, has not responded to phone calls made by Mr. Powers, and the Board would like to appoint someone who will be more reliable.  The Board decided to wait until the Reorganizational Meeting to appoint a new Director, but will continue to contact Mr. Yeager  for his intention.  

NEW BUSINESS:

2015 BUDGET:

The Board has prepared the 2015 Budget which will be advertised.  Since we are still waiting on the PEMA/FEMA money from the 2011 Flood, there is a possibility we may need to prepare a Tax Anticipation Loan in January in order to meet regular expenses for the first few months of 2015.

A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to adopt the tentative Budget for 2015.  Motion carried.

PIPELINE ORDINANCE:

Jerry Walls and Solicitor Roberts are working on changes to the Ordinance.

PPL BILLS FOR SIRENS:

The two (2) sirens that have been in the Township have not been working but bills have been paid to PPL.  Theresa Hampton has called PPL  and bills have been discontinued.

ZEISLOFT SUB-DIVISION PLAN:

The Township Planning Commission has recommended a Sub-division Plan for property of  Dale M. and Mary Ellen Zeisloft .   It is an add-on parcel to be added to the adjoining land of Amy M. Zimmerman and Arthur E. Zimmerman.   A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Mr. Mullen, to approve the Zeisloft Plan dated September  19, 2014, last revised October 29, 2014 and to approve an Agreement pertaining to the add-on parcel   Motion carried.

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT:

Nick Fritz, Code Enforcement Officer, reported that there are still roll-off  containers on Nathan Roberts’ property on Perry Avenue.  The containers are owned by Evans Disposal  and DEP has been contacted but has not responded.  Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, will prepare an Enforcement Notice to send to the owner of the property and the owner of the containers.

Mr. Fritz  asked Mr. Mullen about the dumping at General Sales.  DEP has never contacted the Township and no further response is needed.  It was noted that the burning of brush at the McMahan property has been taken care of, and that it is the Fire Chief’s job to take care of burning issues.

ZONING OFFICER’S REPORT:

Tim Mauk, Zoning Officer, has submitted a written report of activities for the month of October 2014.  He has issued permits to Jimmy Klinger at 310 Montour Boulevard for signs, Michael Morris, 401 Ridge Road,  for demolishing an older home and constructing a new one, and Jerry Fry at 576 Valley Road,  for constructing a second story bedroom.  The Permits that are pending are for Amy Zimmerman for a garage at 422 Surrey Lane,  and Glenn Neiderhiser  to open a day care center at 301 Montour Boulevard. This matter is before the Zoning Hearing Board with a Hearing scheduled for December 10, 2014.

Mr. Mauk reported that the trailers at Mustang Sally’s have been removed.  Further discussion was held on the fact that Mustang Sally’s is now a private club.

PUBLIC WORKS REPORT:

Mr. Mullen, Road Master, reported that the Road Crew has prepared the equipment for winter maintenance, and he will be considering hiring another part-time road worker after the beginning of the year.

UPPER COLONIAL AVENUE – VACATING PROCESS:

Mr. Mullen reported that he is still checking into the vacating process of upper Colonial Avenue.  Mr. Vanderpool asked where are you in the process and when do you expect to have an answer?   Mr. Mullen responded that there is no change from last month  and he is continuing to gather information.

POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORT:

Police Chief Terry Eckart has submitted the following written report of activities for the month of October, 2014:

Fines Issued - $1,480.00 – Montour Township
                    $1,053.00 – Catawissa Township
29 Traffic Citations – Montour Township
21 Traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
 0 Non-traffic Citations – Montour Township
 0 Non-traffic Citations – Catawissa Township
 2 Criminal Arrests – Montour Township
 1 Criminal Arrest – Catawissa Township’        
88 Incidents in Montour Township
53 Incidents in Catawissa Township

FIRE COMPANY REPORT:

Fire Chief Brian Fosse has submitted a written report of Fire Company activities for the month of October, 2014.  

Discussion was held on the purchase of the Hurst E-drolic rescue equipment  which Brian Fosse proposed at last month’s meeting.  He has requested $30,000.00 from the LST account to pay for the equipment and feels that the Fire Company should not have to take out a loan when the LST account is to be used for the Fire Company.  The Board indicated that the LST money is to be used for the Police Department as well as the Fire Company, and a portion of it will need to be used to take care of some of the Police expenses because of the FEMA/PEMA money not being received.  No further discussion was held.

EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT WITH RYAN TRAVELPIECE:

Solicitor Roberts has prepared an Employment Contract between the Township and Ryan D. Travelpiece as a Patrolman.  A MOTION was made by Mr. Powers, seconded by Ms. Ebright, to approve the Employment Contract with Ryan D. Travelpiece, as presented and changes approved by the Board, if necessary.  Motion carried.

The Contract will be reviewed by the Board and Chief Eckart before signing.

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD:

There were no further public comments.

MEETING DATE:

The next monthly Meeting of the Montour Township Board of Supervisors will be held on December 11, 2014, at 7:30 p.m.

There being no further business to discuss, the Meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m., on a MOTION of Mr. Mullen, seconded by Mr. Powers.  Motion carried.


Respectfully Submitted,


Joelene C. Sponenberg
Township Secretary